Was I blind to the situation or did I have my eyes closed? The two are mutually exclusive.
Sometimes we are literally operating in a blind spot, an unknown unknown, if you will, oblivious to what’s happening around us and what’s at stake. I believe that’s where the benefit of doubt and mercy comes into play.
On the contrary, there are times when we consciously choose to walk around with our eyes wide shut ignoring the highlights and guideposts all around us, but get upset at others (never ourselves) when things go wrong and the pages of our lives are written without us in mind.
Is it because we want plausible deniability when things go awry? Do we feel more comfortable believing, although erroneously, that we can make mistakes and won’t be held responsible for the effects of our causes?
The saying “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” is egregiously false. What you don’t know CAN hurt you. Not knowing can cost you valuable time, resources, relationships, and even your life in a worst case scenario.
When I was a child, I watched “G.I. Joe” religiously and at the end of every episode one of the characters would deliver some sort of public service announcement which was always concluded with: “Now you know and knowing is half the battle.”
I believe that statement applies to all of us. When we know better and apply it, the journey is not as challenging; we typically negotiate obstacles better. The learning curve is slightly bent in our favor.
During times of counsel my Dad used to say (I’m paraphrasing): “Trial and error is not always the best teacher. It’s best to listen to wisdom the first time and save yourself the headache and maybe even heartache.”
With wisdom in tow, I’m learning to make the right choice the first time around and that is to journey with my eyes open.